Wednesday 25 February 2015

The most wanted list?

Apparently, according to a YouGov poll, the 3 most desired jobs in the UK are author, librarian and academic. Who knew? And as I am both an author and an academic, I get two helpings of kudos. Interesting. I don't think I've ever featured on a most wanted list before.

This has, of course, led to debate among authors about why we might be so desirable. Don't answer that! It's not for the money, that's for certain. With a few notable exceptions authors don't make a lot - but as we are grouped with librarians and academics, also not particularly high on the earning scale, I don't think it's that.

My theory is that it is surroundings. All three professions have scenery that includes book filled libraries and elegantly appointed studies.Throw in intellectual debate, an aura of peace and calm and the joy of the creative muse ...

That the reality for an author is more likely to involve sitting in your dressing gown at a computer on the corner of the kitchen table, pretending that surfing the Internet for pictures of kittens is 'Research' and having meaningful conversations with the dog, is nether here nor there. Not to mention the hot water bottles and fingerless gloves when the weather is cold and the heat doesn't come on until six.

But this is the land of wish fulfilment. It's all about the image. Back to the book lined study again, with the magnificent desk. Or maybe a summer house in the garden? Stopping when the sun is just over the yard arm for the restorative glass of perfectly chilled wine. Hey, I'm almost convincing myself here!

Where I write - sometimes.
And we are all constantly told that everyone has a book in them. It's getting it out that's the problem. Take it from One Who Knows. But an ambition to be an author sounds like something attractive  and achievable. And it is, or we wouldn't be doing it. That - and providing an outlet for the voices having conversations in your head, of course. It's also hard work, frustrating and infuriating on occasions. Those are the occasions when washing the kitchen floor looks like an excellent alternative to having anything to do with the damned book. Sometimes I have a very clean kitchen floor. I don't have a study though. I write the first draft longhand - so that can happen anywhere - trains. I like  long train journeys. When I'm at home my writing spot is the corner of the dining room closest to the French doors. It's lovely when the sun is shining. You see - I told you it was all about the setting.

The link to the YouGov poll is HERE if you want to read more.


  1. I'm sure that's it, Evonne. It's the perceived lifestyle of the writer that people want - as you say, lots of time to stop and stare at the marvels of the world.

    1. Hi Jane. I think it probably says more about wish fulfillment than reality - but it's still nice to be wanted :)
      Is it wine o'clock yet?

  2. Why on earth would anyone want to be an academic? Short contracts, constant pressure to publish, the competition for research funding, the Impact agenda, the politics (oh my god, the politics!)...
    Actually, it makes being an author look rather fun. Apart from the fact that you need another job to make it viable.
    Good theory, Evonne. I think you've got a point.

    1. Hi Rhoda It's the old thing about the grass being greener - or in this case the library being quieter? :)